Casale Marittimo vista

Four “almost” maritime villages

The mystery of how four inland villages have “maritime” in their name. Campiglia Marittima, Casale Marittimo, Castellina Marittima and Rosignano Marittimo share a little secret and great beauty.


The strange use of the adjective “maritime” in place names in the hinterland of the Etruscan Coast will not have escaped many. The explanation is quite easy. In Latin, Maritima means “from the Maremma” and was added, after the unification of Italy, not only to locate the town, but also to distinguish it from other places of the same name, such as the today’s Rosignano Monferrato. These beautiful Tuscan villages on the Etruscan Coast are known in this way because they are situated in what was historically the Maremma region under Livorno and Pisa. The atmosphere in the historic hinterland villages of Campiglia Marittima, Casale Marittimo, Castellina Marittima and Rosignano Marittimo acts as a counter-attraction to the scent of the sea and the sound of the waves in the “marine” settlements along the Etruscan Coast: Marina di Bibbona, Marina di Castagneto and Marina di Cecina. In either case, the destination offers great beauty and centuries-long history.

Campiglia Marittima

Campiglia Marittima, with its paved alleyways, ancient castle and historic buildings located inside the walls alternating with enchanting streets and squares overlooked by craft shops, is one of the most delightful medieval villages in the Val di Cornia. In the old town it is easy to journey back in time by visiting the famous Rocca, the Palazzo Pretorio and the parish church, all of which represent the wealth of art and culture handed down through the centuries. The Romanesque Pieve di San Giovanni is an extraordinarily imposing, solitary building facing the walls of the old town. It would be unthinkable to visit Campiglia Marittima without tasting the great local specialities, such as the exquisite “Schiaccia alla Campigliese”, perhaps accompanied by one of the wines from the Val di Cornia.

Campiglia Marittima

Casale Marittimo

On a wooded hilltop 12km from the sea, Casale Marittimo, with its enchanting stone and terracotta houses, overlooks the valley and dates back to the year one thousand. Visitors can enjoy the narrow streets and breathtaking views, churches and historic buildings, together with the ancient walls of the castle that blend perfectly into the architectural fabric of the village. Casale Marittimo, awarded an Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club, is located on the Strada del Vino Costa degli Etruschi and offers plenty of opportunities to taste the excellent wine produced by the local vineyards. The area is also renowned for its olive oil and olive groves extend as far as the eye can see, shaping the landscape so characteristic of Tuscany. Just 3km from the village, visitors can explore the Etruscan Necropolis of Casale Marittimo; an Etruscan settlement, brought to light in the mid-1980 and dating back to the 7th century BC is the site of the extraordinary discovery of the orientalising-phase necropolis of the Nocera Household and the so-called Warrior Princes of Casale Marittimo, the two oldest sculptures in the round in the history of European art.

Castellina Marittima

The special feature of Castellina Marittima is alabaster. This rock form was probably mined and worked as early as Etruscan times and today visitors can learn about the tradition of Bianco di Castellina, as the prized, white alabaster from this area is known, in the Alabaster Ecomuseum. The museum itinerary illustrates the history of the alabaster quarries and reconstructs the ancient artisan tradition that unites Castellina Marittima, Santa Luce and Volterra.

Rosignano Marittimo

Lastly, Rosignano Marittimo. This medieval village, with its old buildings contained within the so-called Castle, dominates the countryside of the Etruscan Coast. Inside the old city walls and among the alleyways there are towers, churches and cisterns of great historical and artistic value. The halls of the prestigious Palazzo Bombardieri house the Civic Archaeological Museum, where it is possible to retrace the history of the municipality through exhibits dating from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. A visit to the Castle of Rosignano Marittimo also means indulging in long walks in the shade of the pines in the Parco dei Poggetti and from where there is a breathtaking view of the sea.